There is no shortage of great players in the history of the Green Bay Packers, nor is there a shortage of influential players that have worn the Green and Gold. Yet, as great as all of those players are, none of them have meant more to the franchise than Brett Favre.
Favre wasn’t just one of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, he was one of the most competitive. He was a winner, a Super Bowl champion and a three-time league MVP.
The former Southern Mississippi standout, won numerous division titles, took 12 teams to the playoffs and in his 19 years as an NFL starter, only twice did he fail to lead his team to a winning record.
Favre was a magician and a gladiator, clutch and clumsy, great and disappointing. He was everything a quarterback could be and more and that among other reasons, is why he is the ultimate Packer legend.
No. 4 did so many great things in Green Bay that saying he is the greatest player in Packers’ history is not an understatement. Believe me, I know the gravity of that statement. But still, I stand by it.
There have been a number of all-time great players in the history of the franchise, there is no questioning that, there just weren’t any as significant as Favre.
Even if you disregard the records he holds for most consecutive games played in NFL history, most passing yards, completions, attempts and wins, Favre is still the most important player to ever don the Green and Gold.
I’m not saying Favre is the best Packer ever–that is up for debate. And in a decade or so, Aaron Rodgers will have something to say about it. Others like Bart Starr, Reggie White, Paul Hornung, Ray Nitschke, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley, Don Hutson, and Jerry Kramer could lay claim to that title as well. But, in terms of historical importance, no one rivals Favre, at least no player does.
Favre came to the Packers in 1992 and at that time Green Bay was an NFL wasteland.
The team hadn’t contended for an NFL championship since Vince Lombardi retired and looked to be going nowhere soon after the miserable 70’s and 80’s. Then, the brilliant Ron Wolf made a move that changed the franchise forever. He traded a first-round pick for the former Atlanta Falcon washout, a year later the Packers signed Reggie White and the rest as they say is history.
Since Favre’s arrival in Green Bay, the once down-on-its-luck franchise has flourished into one the NFL’s most successful and profitable franchises. Green Bay has won more games than any team in the NFC in the past 22 seasons and have made the playoffs 17 times in that span, with just two losing seasons, one under Favre in 2004 and one under Rodgers in 2008.
Every other year, Green Bay has either made the playoffs or had a chance going into the final weekend. That means this franchise has contended for the playoffs in 20 of the past 22 seasons. That’s remarkable and without Brett’s magical right arm–it may never have happened.
To put it simply, Favre put Green Bay back on the map. Lambeau Field isn’t the place that Favre built, but the add-ons and the new scoreboard, plus all the renovations wouldn’t exist without him and that’s just a fact.
Favre resurrected the Packers and thanks in large part to his play as well as his mass popularity, the Packers regained their spot among the NFL’s elite.
Of course, Favre didn’t do it himself. He had great teams, players and coaches around him. But he was the most important piece, the quarterback always is.
The 19-year vet was Green Bay; Favre made Packer football must-see TV and he was the reason the team was in constant Super Bowl contention. Rodgers is great and may be better than Favre one day, on the field, but in terms of long-term impact on the franchise, he will always fall short, as will every other player in the storied history of the Packers.
The only true rival to Favre in terms of impact and importance in Green Bay is Lombardi–and that in itself is saying something.